Wisdom (James 1:5)


“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” James 1:5

During last week’s sermon, one of the most difficult sections for me to teach related to wisdom. Wisdom is the application of knowledge. It’s not simple to know how and when to speak or act. Well-meaning words spoken at the wrong time, or with the wrong tone can have the opposite of the intended effect. Actions undertaken with pure motives can be greatly misunderstood.  Wisdom helps us resolve conflicts and see things for what they really are. Wisdom helps us counsel others and speak the right words during a difficult time. Wisdom allows us to see the heart of the matter, instead of working problems that are secondary to the real issue. Wisdom is from the Lord.

As James states, if you lack wisdom you should not just hit the books, but you should ask God for it. Seeking wisdom is a matter of prayer and learning. The Lord Jesus is glad to help His children rightly understand the world around them and how to live in it. 

A few words on wisdom from the Bible:

  • If you lack wisdom, ask God for it. He will make you wise as you study His word. 
  • We understand how God thinks about the world through Scripture. Therefore, to be wise, we must first study scripture.
  • Wisdom comes from understanding how God has made us and the true nature of the world. If we have a false understanding of the world and the nature of people, we can never be wise.
  • There is an entire book of the Bible devoted to understanding how to apply knowledge: Proverbs. This is a hard book to read straight through. I suggest that you keep a marker in that book, and read a few verses from Proverbs each day in addition to your normal daily Bible reading.
  • Wisdom comes from experience. We can learn the hard way by experiencing failure ourselves, or we can shorten the process and grow in wisdom by learning from the experiences of others. The Bible is full of true life stories. Some of these stories teach us how we should live, and others stand as negative examples of how notto live. Both are helpful. Learn from the successes and failures of others. 

“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wiseman who built his house on the rock.” Matthew 7:24

Do not look to foreign and mystical places for wisdom. Keep to the simple path of prayerfully reading Scripture, hearing God’s words, believing them, and obeying them. See you Sunday!

Blog post by Vic Carpenter (Sep 19, 2019)